Liu Wen (model)

Last updated
Liu Wen
Liu Wen Milan Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2019.jpg
Liu Wen in 2019
Born (1988-01-27) 27 January 1988 (age 32) [1]
Yongzhou, Hunan, China
Modeling information
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in) [2]
Hair colorBlack [2]
Eye colorBrown [2]

Liu Wen (simplified Chinese :刘雯; traditional Chinese :劉雯; pinyin :Liú Wén; born 27 January 1988) is a Chinese model. [4] In 2012, The New York Times dubbed her "China’s first bona fide supermodel". [5] She is the first model of East Asian descent to walk the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, [6] the first spokesmodel of East Asian descent for the Estée Lauder Companies, and the first Asian model to ever make Forbes magazine's annual highest-paid models list. [7] [8] In 2017, Liu became the second Chinese model to ever appear on the front cover of American Vogue. [9] She is currently represented by The Society Management [10] and is based in New York City.


Early life

Wen was born in Yongzhou, Hunan province, China. [11] . As a model, Wen has achieved multiple firsts, including the title of the first model from her region to take part in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Wen has also attained the title of the first East Asian model to be listed on the Forbes magazine as one of the highest-paid models. [12] The supermodel has also been associated with multiple American model management organizations, including the New-York based The Society Management.

Although she was born into a simple-working class family, Wen showed immense interest in modeling from a young age. [13] As a teenager, Wen had the support of her mother, who urged her to try and pursue the mannerisms and attitudes of professional models. Subsequently, Wen joined a modeling contest in 2005 in which she lost to another upcoming Chinese model, Du Juan. [14] Nonetheless, this competition provided Wen with a platform to attract attention from modeling agencies, and afterward, she commenced a career in modeling on a full-time basis. It is this exposure that enabled Wen to join the fashion industry by working with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar – both of which have a presence in China.

Between 2007 and 2008, Wen worked with various brands, including Viktor & Roff and Karl Lagerfeld. [15] This experience provided the model with international exposure, and, soon after, she left Beijing for Paris. While in France, Wen signed a contract with a modeling agency and participated in the Paris Fashion Week. In February 2008, the supermodel made her debut on international runways, where she represented various European fashion houses, including the Burberry Group PLC and Trussardi. [16] Around the same time, Wen traveled to the United States, where she met Steven Meisel, an American photographer. The meeting resulted in the model shooting her first campaign with the photographer and further enhancing her presence in global high fashion runways.

As a professional in the modeling industry, Liu Wen has achieved significant feats. In 2009, Wen participated in more than 70 fashion shows in different cities, including New York, Paris, and Milan, and within a single season. [17] No other model had managed to achieve a similar number of shows during that season. Furthermore, no other supermodel from East Asia has realized a higher number of shows per season, as Liu Wen did in 2009. During the same year, Wen would attain the title of the first East Asian model to take part in Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and this position allowed her to attract more interest from modeling agencies across the world. In 2010, Wen achieved a similar goal of 70 fashion shows in a single season. [18] The model also recorded the second-highest number of bookings for the 2010 season, with Constance Jablonski from France taking the leading position.


Liu started her modeling career in 2005 [19] when she entered the New Silk Road World Model Contest, a contest previously won by international covergirl Du Juan. [2] Although she did not win the competition, Liu soon began working full-time as a model, eventually becoming a national success story after working with fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar that are popular in China. [19]

In September 2007, Liu caught the attention of the international fashion industry when she shot an editorial in clothes designed by Karl Lagerfeld and Viktor and Rolf [1] [19] and would later walk for both of those brands. She was invited to Paris in 2008 to sign with an agency and participate in Paris Fashion Week. [19]

In February 2008, she appeared in four fashion-related articles for Chinese Vogue. [19] She debuted on international runways in the same month, walking for Burberry and closing the fall Trussardi show in Milan. The week after, she walked for Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Hermès in Paris. [2] A year later in February and March 2009, Liu Wen appeared in 74 shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris for the Fall 2009 ready-to-wear season this was the highest number shows for a model in that season. It also remains the record for the most shows ever walked by a model of Asian descent in a single season. She followed that up with the Spring 2010 ready-to-wear season, walking 70 shows in the same four cities. This statistic made her the second most booked model for the season following French model Constance Jablonski. [20]

Liu has appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta, Hugo Boss, Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, H&M, Marni, Lane Crawford, Bergdorf Goodman, Diesel, Gap, and Vivienne Tam. Her record for a single season is seven [21] including DKNY Jeans, The GAP, Barneys New York, Benetton, Alexander Wang, Converse, and cKone in Spring 2009. She has been featured as the only female in major Vogue editorials for Vogue Germany , Vogue Espana , Vogue China , Vogue Italia , British Vogue , and American Vogue. She has also been featured in editorials for Numéro (as well as a cover), GQ , V magazine, Harper's Bazaar , Pop Magazine , Allure , i-D (as well as a cover), Interview , and W . [21]

In 2009, Liu became the first woman of Chinese descent to walk in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. [6] Liu also participated in the 2010-2012 shows. [22] [23] She returned to the Victoria's Secret runway again in 2016, 2017, and 2018. [24]

In April 2010, it was announced that Liu along with Constance Jablonski and Joan Smalls would help to represent the cosmetics company Estée Lauder. [25] In March 2012, The New York Times featured Liu Wen on the cover and in the main feature for their Style "T" Magazine's Travel Issue, and she was dubbed "China’s first bona fide supermodel". [5] In the same year, she attended the Cannes Film Festival for the first time. In Spring 2013, Liu Wen was dubbed one of "The New Icons" by H&M for her widely admired street-style. [26]

In 2013 she also became the first Asian to be in the top five on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid models, as number 5. [8] [27] She repeated the feat in 2014, with her salary rising from $4.3 million the previous year to $7 million. [28] Also in 2013, Liu gained a rank of #3 on the Top 50 Models Women List by [29] She is the highest-ranked model of Asian descent in history. In July 2014, elevated her to the status of "New Supermodel", the first Asian model to ever receive that honor. [30] She remains on that list as of February 2015.

Liu Wen has garnered a heavy social media following on platforms such as Instagram and Weibo. The immensity of her audience led American Vogue to dub her as a leader in the digital movement, saying in their April 2014 issue, in an article about social media’s rise in the fashion industry, that "Liu also has, by far, the biggest social-media audience of any model". [31] dubbed her the first ever Asian "New Supermodel" in July 2014. [30]

In October of the same year, Liu became the first person in the world to showcase an Apple Watch on a magazine cover when she appeared on Vogue China's November 2014 issue. [32]

In April 2015, she and South Korean singer Choi Siwon participated in a Chinese spin-off of the South Korean variety show We Got Married . [33] [34]

In 2017, Liu Wen became the second ever Chinese model to appear on the front cover of American Vogue for its 125th Anniversary March 2017 issue, photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin alongside Adwoa Aboah, Ashley Graham, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Kendall Jenner, and Vittoria Ceretti. [9]

Liu Wen taking part in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show [35]

Later on, in January 2011, Liu Wen signed a contract with Estée Lauder – an American multinational that manufactures high-end beauty products. This development allowed Wen to become more involved in the United States. The New York Times in 2012 published a photo of Wen on the cover of the Style "T" Magazine's Travel Issue. [36] In 2013, Wen was listed on the Forbes magazine as being among the highest-paid supermodels globally. [37] In 2014, the supermodel was also on Forbes’ list, with the report mentioned that the model had earned approximately $7 million in 2013 alone from her modeling contracts. [38] Moreover, the article also indicated that Wen had a strong presence on social media, with over 2.7 million followers on Instagram and 18 million followers on Weibo. During the same year, Wen marketed the Apple Watch and attained the title of the first East Asian supermodel to work in such a capacity for Apple, Inc.

As a model, Wen has been associated with several major global brands. Examples of brands that have featured Wen in their marketing efforts include Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Roberto Cavalli, and Dolce & Gabbana. [39] The model has also marketed products manufactured by Gap, H&M, Prada, and Bergdorf Goodman. Also, Chanel Beauty – a French company that produces luxury clothes and accessories – has appointed Wen as its global ambassador. These engagements have contributed significantly to Wen's growth as a professional in her modeling career.

Currently, Wen resides in New York. The model has previously indicated that she is yet to consider having romantic relations and that she is more focused on pursuing her career. [40] The supermodel also enjoys traveling, and she created a hashtag on Instagram titled #WenInFlight and which documents her experiences across the world. [41] Moreover, the model has also participated in acting stints that have enabled her to feature in dating shows. In 2018, Wen was criticized by Chinese online users for affiliating herself with other countries and forgetting her heritage. [42] The incident took place following a post by the supermodel on social media. Nonetheless, Wen has managed to avoid controversy throughout her modeling career.


In February 2018, Liu Wen posted a photo on Instagram showing herself and Wendi Deng Murdoch with the English caption "Happy Lunar New Year!", which drew a large group of Chinese netizens accusing her of forgetting her Chinese roots, pandering to other Asian countries. Numerous other Chinese and international netizens defended her usage of the phrase. As a result, she changed the English caption to "Happy Chinese New Year" later. [43] [44]

Personal life

In the past, Liu has said that after modeling she might enjoy working as a stylist or, were the opportunity to arise, as an actress—she feels that modelling and acting have much in common, but for now she enjoys modeling and working in the fashion industry. She has stated that she knows that, as a career choice, working as a fashion designer or stylist would be "very hard work", [45] but she is now more seriously considering becoming a stylist because she would like "to share her fashion style—tomboyish, vintage, and comfortable—with the world".

Liu has said in the press many times that she has never had a boyfriend and remains without one. [46] [47] She said: "even my mum asks me, 'where is your boyfriend?' But I'm a little busy for that... There's a lot of travelling with my job and I can't say to a boyfriend... 'please wait for me, I have to go on a job' ".

Liu’s social life is not known to many people. However, she has a massive number of followers on Instagram and other social media platforms. In this regard, she currently has more than 5.1 million followers. Liu Weng follows around 680 people and has made more than 2,000 posts including her modeling videos and photos in different places [48] ". Several speculations and rumors have been rising continually about Liu’s dating and relationships. However, this analysis could help to clear the frequently asked questions about Liu’s love life. According to the information from several sources, ranging from social media to celebrity biographical articles, Liu Weng has not disclosed to the public domain about her present, past or future lover. In one of her interviews, she was asked whether she was already seeing someone. However, she stated categorically that she has nobody in her life and that she was looking forward to having a boyfriend. She directed that whoever is interested should contact her agent. Liu gave a clue on how her dream man should look like, stating that he has to be the right person coming at the right time. Besides, many databases indicate that Liu Weng has no children.  

Furthermore, the information about Liu’s religion is also not well elaborates in the public domain. However, being a Chinese supermodel, Liu tends to maintain the Chinese code of conduct and culture despite living in her New York residence. She believes in empowering young and upcoming models to actualize their dreams.  

See also

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